Traveling With Twins: Can My Baby Sit On My Lap?

May 04, 2017

twin travel tips on twin baby carrier blog

Welcome to TwinGo Carrier's Traveling With Twins Series, where each week we will answer new questions about the logistics of traveling with twins. We'll help you coordinate everything from stroller storage to in-flight baby soothing, and everything in between. Heading on a trip with your twins this summer? Fear not! We've got you covered.

Traveling with your twins, triplets, or more can be overwhelming and there’s usually a lot of questions about logistics going through a parent’s mind. Summer is coming and I’m getting lots of questions about flying as people plan summer vacations. It can be very stressful taking babies on a plane and that intensifies when you have more than one child to worry about. Many of these tips are general tips for flying with a baby and some of my adapted tips that are particular to flying with lots of toddlers and babies. We regularly fly domestically and internationally with my now 1-year-old twins and 2.5-year-old singleton. Hopefully these answers will help you understand some of the regulations and choices you have when flying and some extra tips to make it as easy as going to the park for the day.

#1 Can my baby sit in my lap?

I see countless articles in the news about issues surrounding lap babies and twin moms. Here are a few key tips to remember while deciding whether to buy your baby a seat:

  • The lap baby must be under 2 years old at the time of flight. If your toddler turns two during your travel then they will not be eligible to fly in your lap on the way home. 

  • Each adult can only fly with one baby in their lap and they must have a lap baby ticket. Usually this requires calling the airline to add the baby but many airlines are improving and adding this option to the online purchasing system. If you have more babies than adults then all the additional babies must have a seat regardless of age.

  • On most planes two lap babies cannot be in the same row because there are not enough oxygen masks in an emergency. Many families choose to sit across the aisle from each other. If you have a non lap-child in a car seat I find it easier to sit back to back since the car seat must be in a window seat. 
    • Exception: Some international flights have layette seats on bulkhead rows. In this case they often have extra masks and will allow more than one lap baby in the row. 

  • If there are empty seats on the plane you may be able to bring a car seat on board the plane and use it. This is not a guarantee and is handled differently by every airline. It’s best to ask the gate agent before boarding if this is possible but it is up to the flight attendants on each flight. Southwest is the best airline about allowing this and the cheaper airlines, like Spirit and Frontier, rarely allow it.

  • Birth Certificates: Airlines can ask you to prove your lap baby is under two. Many parents use a copy of the birth certificate to do this. If you are a frequent traveler, I find it easier to apply for a passport and get a passport card. It’s much easier to carry while traveling. Many airlines have become relaxed about this, except Southwest, but it’s always better to have it than be stranded and forced to buy a last-minute seat if they ask. 

Be sure to check out our other Traveling with Twins tips!
Q: Can My Baby Sit on My Lap?
Q: Should I Take My Stroller?
Q: What Should I Do About My Stroller?
Q: What Should I Bring on the Plane?
Q: How Do I Get All This Through Security, and What About Liquids?
Q: How Do I Get Everything and Everyone on the Plane?
Q: How Do I Survive the Flight?


twin mom on twin blogAja Harris is a mother of three toddlers and the wife of a US diplomat currently residing in Moscow, Russia. She frequently flies with her 2.5-year-old son and twin 1-year-old daughters around the world and throughout the United States. They have taken their children to over 15 US States and 4 countries via planes, trains, and automobiles. She hopes that this article encourages families to be adventurous and eases the worries of parents getting ready to fly with their little ones for the first time. You can follow the Harris family’s adventures on Facebook at The Wandering Chaos.